Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Meals, Ready-to-Eat

Have any of you ever tried an MRE?

We received an anonymous donation a few weeks ago of a whole bunch of MRE's to be used on scout camps, etc. Sunday Eric decided that we should probably sample them a bit before unleashing them on our unsuspecting scouts. I was less than enthusiastic about the whole idea, but I went along, as I usually do go along with Eric's random ideas. We had Chicken Fajitas with some kind of rice side dish. Eric thought they were pretty good, but I couldn't even finish a mouthful before my stomach started getting rebellious on me. (It reminded me of those mornings when I would have to eat my oatmeal before I could catch the bus for school. Now that I'm a grown-up, I never eat oatmeal. Our kids may never find out what oatmeal tastes like until they leave home.)

Getting back to the MREs, It was kind of an adventure. I'd heard of MRE's before of course, but this was the first time I'd ever had the opportunity to eat one.

Here are a few pictures that I took to document the experience:

In other news, I caught a monster cold somewhere, and so I've been spending my nights coughing and hacking and sniffling instead of sleeping. Seriously, I'm going on four nights now of sub-sub-sub-par sleep. The cold has now settled in my throat, so I have no voice. That has made phone conversations kind of a challenge. Oh well. This too shall pass, right?

Just a few days 'till we leave for San Francisco! Yippee!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Three Random Things

This is not a tag or anything, it's just three random things that I've experienced/been thinking about lately.

1. Before I was married, I would read the scriptures for around 30 minutes every morning. After I married, it was harder for me to get out of bed, (since adorable sleeping Eric was still there), and my scripture study time fell to about 15 minutes every morning. Then I got pregnant and started feeling exhausted, and it fell further to 5 minutes in the morning every couple of days. Two days ago, I was feeling anxious and worry-prone (for a change), and I decided that I should get back on the scripture study wagon. I read/studied for 15 minutes Monday morning, Tuesday morning, and this morning, and I'm back to that old peaceful feeling. It shouldn't surprise me, since I've been through this cycle more times than I can even count, but I really am surprised at just how quickly my worries become more manageable once I re-commit myself to scripture study. Amazing.

2. Remember--these are random things. Therefore, you should expect a drastic change of subject here. You know how I wrote that whole thing about TV a bit ago, and said (among other things) that I occassionally watched American Idol and Dancing with the Stars? Well, I'm somewhat chagrined to admit that I've become quite a follower of Dancing with the Stars lately, skimpy costumes notwithstanding. As most followers do, I have my favorites, and the fact is, I adore Cristian de la Fuente. I'd never even heard of him 2 months ago, and now I'm a huge fan. What a cute man he is! How refreshingly open! How charming! His honest joy when he does well, and his honest despair when he does poorly is just so fun for me to watch. What a breath of fresh air! I don't care if he's not the best dancer, I hope he stays on for awhile. Between him and Marisa Jaret Winokur, I have more to cheer for now than I have had on any reality show ever.

3. Although I'm not nearly as nauseated or tired as I've been in past months, I've noticed a little development over the past few days in that I feel weak, dizzy, and lightheaded quite frequently. A few days ago I nearly fainted while curling my hair, and then last night I had to dismiss one of my voice students early because I could tell I was going to faint if I didn't get my head down really quickly. (The student was only ten years old, and that could be kind of traumatic, don't you think?) I spoke with my doctor this morning, and he told me (after assuring himself that I was drinking plenty of fluids) that he wanted to see me in his office tomorrow. In the meantime, he wants me to raise my salt intake, I can only assume to raise my blood pressure. For once, a doctor's order that is easy to follow! Hooray! Bring on the beef jerky and the salted almonds! Now if I can just figure out how to get him to order me to raise my sugar and fat intake, life will be as sweet as a key lime pie.

And there you have it. The end for now.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

a lucky girl, and bad kids (probably not what you think)

Warning: This entry is a little more on the sappy side than some of what I usually post.

Things are good with us. I was able to spend some time with my parents, some of my siblings, and seven of our nieces & nephews over the weekend, which was a real treat. Eric didn't come with me this time (we're saving his vacation days for our San Fran trip next month), and I missed him, but I was still able to have a super great time. The drive from Northern to Southern Utah is a bit longer and more painful when I'm 4 months pregnant (my back was killing me about half-way into the trek both times), but it was well worth it. I'm fortunate to have a job where I have a fair amount of flexibility and I can take a day or two off here or there for a quick trip. I'm a lucky girl that way.

Otherwise, things are pretty much the same as ever for us. Eric has his last day of class tomorrow, and so we're both excited about that, but he is especially excited. I don't blame him. Lately that guy's been running from one thing to another so much that he hardly has time to catch a breath. I'm proud of him, and I still feel so blessed that we found each other and are married. Another way that I'm a lucky girl I guess.

I'll end this entry with one quote from one of my sweet nieces from a week or so ago:

A bunch of us went ice skating on the 12th of April to celebrate the third birthday of one of my nieces. With a few exceptions, we're not an incredibly talented bunch of ice skaters, and unfortunately, there were several people (primarily kids) who were sharing the ice with us and were incredibly talented skaters. The comparison was pointed out to us by four-year-old MaKell, who, as she was clutching the wall with one hand, and her mother's fingers with her other, remarked with the kind of honesty that only a four year old can have,

"Looks like the kids we know are all bad."

It wouldn't be nearly as funny if it wasn't absolutely true.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

a few short conversations (with a happy ending)

A MONTH OR TWO AGO (a/k/a the agony of the first trimester)

Scene: The bedroom. Charlotte is lying on the bed, feeling sick and discouraged and looking like death warmed over. She's indulging in a little bit of whining before she will finally make herself get off the bed and get ready for the unendurable drudgery of her job (the same job which she usually quite enjoys). Eric is looking around nervously, trying to find something that will help her, but feeling pretty close to helpless.

Charlotte (crying): I didn't know it would be this way. I mean, everyone says that you feel terrible for the first couple of months of pregnancy, but I didn't know that I would handle it so poorly.

Eric (soothingly): No, no, you're handling it just fine. You're doing a great job.

Charlotte (knowing that he's lying, but grateful that he's making the effort): I just . . . well, I just didn't want it to be this way, you know? I wanted to be a cute pregnant girl, not an ugly, whining, gross pregnant girl, you know?

Eric (hopefully): Well, you still might be . . . right?

Charlotte says nothing, but the tears stream down the sides of her face. Later, when she has had time to put this in perspective, she will recount this conversation to several friends, laughing at the absurdity of it all.


* * *


Scene: Well, these next two aren't really scenes. They are telephone conversations between Charlotte and her father, Robert Corry M.D. Both of these conversations take place in the morning, which tends to be the time that Charlotte has most of what we will (charitably) call her "minor meltdowns".

Dad (answering ringing telephone): Hello?

Charlotte (voice quavers): Dad?

Dad (worried, expecting to hear some really bad news, thinks to himself, "Oh, shoot."): Uh-huh?

Charlotte (voice still quavering, tears are starting to form in her eyes): I'm too OLD to be having a baby!

Dad (laughs with relief): You are NOT. You're doing fine! You just haven't ever been through this before and so you don't know what to expect. Really, you're doing fine, and you're going to be fine.

Charlotte (still quavering, but the tears are starting to recede): Really? You think so?

Dad: Absolutely. I'm sure of it.

Charlotte (feeling marginally better): Well, okay.

They talk a little bit more about this and that, and they eventually hang up.

Dad (answering the phone): Hello?

Charlotte (using that same old quavery voice, and speaking very quickly): Dad, what if I'm one of those women who are sick the whole nine months, and I don't start feeling better when I get into the second trimester?

Dad: I am POSITIVE that you won't be.

Charlotte (wanting to believe him, but not quite sure): How can you say that? How do you know?

Dad: Because your mother felt better after the first trimester, your sister felt better after the first trimester, your aunts felt better after the first trimester, and you're going to feel better too. I'm 99% sure of it.

Charlotte (noticing that in one sentence dad has gone from POSITIVE (100%) to only 99% sure, feeling a little alarmed at this): Really? I mean, you really think I'm going to start feeling better soon?

Dad: Yes.

Charlotte: You're not just saying this right? Because I don't know what I'll do if it doesn't get better soon.

Dad: It will. You'll be okay. Trust me.

Charlotte (still quavery, but feeling a little bit better): Okay.

Again, they talk about a few other things, and then they hang up.

* * *

So, that pretty much sums up the last three months in Charlotte and Eric land. Aren't you glad we were keeping it a secret, and you didn't have to read about all the sad details day after day after day? (Cause, you KNOW that at least some of them would have ended up here, right?)

The good news is, my father was right. I'm apparently (thankfully) NOT one of those women who are sick the whole nine months. I'm on my fifth consecutive day of feeling like a normal human being (and coincidentally, I'm seven days into my second trimester of this little pregnancy), and all I can say is that in all my life, I've never appreciated my good health like I should have. Seriously. I should have been doing cartwheels down the street every day that I woke up feeling fairly good. Every evening that I could come home from work and feel like doing anything besides becoming unconscious for the rest of the evening should have been a reason for major celebration. I took it for granted, but no more! (At least, no more for awhile at least). Health is something to be celebrated! Feeling like a real person rather than a zombie is a miracle! Hooray! Haroo! Charlotte is among the living once again!

Oh--and as to how I wanted so badly to be "cute and pregnant"-- Today I've received compliments from three different people on how pretty I look. I guess that pregnancy glow might be coming through, huh? Or, it might be that I put on earrings and spent more that 10 minutes on my hair today for the first time since January.

Don't worry--I won't let it go to my head.

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Year of Splendiferous Joy

Today it's been one year since Eric and I got married.

One awesome, amazing, thrilling, joyous year of sunshine and daffodils.

(with just enough adjustment and challenges thrown in to keep us somewhat humble)

Mmm - mmmm! Deee-licous!

(You can decide for yourself whether I'm talking about the cake or that fine specimen of manhood to the right of me)

(When I was in my twenties, I swore I'd never be this sappy)

me on our honeymoon-ette

Eric & Higgins

Eric on our honeymoon

at a family reunion

At another family reunion. Please pretend you don't notice that I have a double chin here.

(I could go on about how one of my biggest fears as a child was that I would grow up and have a double chin and now it has happened and I live my worst nightmare about one out of every three times I smile, but that's probably a post for another day.)

I took pictures of the completed jack-o'lanterns, but it was too dark and they didn't turn out.

being silly (for a change), immediately before heading out to see my favorite singin' man, Peter B

storytime with (some of ) the nieces and nephews

Eric in his workshop, which is also our crawlspace. That sander is on boxes of our food storage. If you look really closely, you can see that he's using old copies of National Geographic to keep the sander more or less level.

Me. Eric decided to braid my hair and wanted a picture. I know this is kind of cheesy. Too bad.

So there it is. Our fabulous year in medium quality pictures. To celebrate, we're going out to dinner tonight, and we might even swing into Borders and buy one new Jazz CD for our little collection. Why Jazz, you ask? Well, because Jazz is turning out to be the music of our love. Who would have ever thought?

Oh--and then as soon as the semester ends (in May), we're off to San Francisco for five glorious honeymoon-flashback days. We figured we'd take advantage our ability to get away one last time while it was still quite easy to do so.

Happy Monday to you all,


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Those Good Old Days

“We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.” (Article of Faith #13)*

I was born in the early 70s, which means that I did most of my growing up in the 70s and 80s, or in what I like to call, "The Golden Age of Television".

I loved, and I do mean LOVED watching television when I was a child. I watched reruns of The Brady Bunch, I Dream of Jeannie, Eight is Enough and Bewitched (Although once The Andy Griffiths Show came on, I would stay through the whistling intro only. Once that was over, so was my attention span). I watched Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune until I thought it was completely normal to phrase all answers in the form of a question, and I longed for the opportunity to buy a vowel.

And then there was prime time. I don't have it locked in the old noggin' anymore, but I used to have the entire weekly prime time schedule memorized. I watched Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley. I couldn't wait to find out what great feats Wonder Woman would accomplish each week. I watched The Donny and Marie Show, The Love Boat, and (if I was able to sneak my way into staying up late enough) even Fantasy Island.

Those gems were followed by Diff'rent Strokes, The Facts of Life, Silver Spoons and The Dukes of Hazard, which were followed by Who's the Boss, The Cosby Show, Family Ties, and Growing Pains. It was heaven, absolute heaven! Looking back on all the shows I watched, I'm a little curious as to how I managed to fit in all the other things that I did. I mean, I have memories of them all, so I know that I did them, but how? When? When did I take ballet lessons? When did I do homework? When did I slide tadpoles down the makeshift miniature waterparks that we made out of our beanbags in the basement? I have no idea. The thought baffles my mind even now.

And then I grew up. In 1993, I went on an LDS mission and watched NO TV for over a year and a half. Now, I'm not sure if my sensitivities were uncharacteristically sharpened in that time period, or if network television took a screaming nosedive from June 1993 to December 1994, or (as is probably the case) if it was a little bit of both, but whatever the reason, once I returned home from my mission the allure of television just wasn't there for me.

This was the era of Seinfeld and Friends, among other shows, and while what was being broadcast was often witty and funny to the point of hilarious, when I watched, I often felt bombarded with innuendo and double entendres as I never had before**. Finding something that was "virtuous, lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy" on television became something of a difficulty for me, and my love affair with the old TV gradually came to an end. I watched less and less, until finally I came to the point where I didn't even have a television and wasn't following a single show.

And that's kind of where I am today. I check in with American Idol from time to time, and every once in a while I'll catch an episode of The Amazing Race or Dancing with the Stars (although many of those costumes are a little revealing for my taste, you know?) but for the most part, I'm pretty ignorant about what's going on over the airwaves these days. Mostly, I think this is a good thing. I read more now, and I have time to accomplish far far more than I did in my old television-obsessed days. But some days, like when I don't feel well, or I just want to veg for a bit, I really miss being able to plop down on the couch and see what my old friends Rudy, Vanessa, and Theo are up to, you know?


(Lest you think me more pious than I actually am, I have to admit that I crack up every time I chance to see Cosmo Kramer enter Jerry's apartment. Hilarious!!!)

*The Articles of Faith outline 13 basic points of belief of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Prophet Joseph Smith first wrote them in a letter to John Wentworth, a newspaper editor, in response to Mr. Wentworth's request to know what members of the Church believed. They were subsequently published in Church periodicals. They are now regarded as scripture and included in the Pearl of Great Price. (from www.lds.org )

**As I watch old episodes of some of my old favorites now, I have to admit that much of what went on the air in the 70s and 80s was far from squeaky clean. I was younger and more naive back then, and much of that element flew right over my head.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Do I look like I'm pregnant?

I look like I'm slightly pregnant in this picture, huh?

(I'm not)

(I'm really not even that chubby--it's a bad camara angle and a big sweater)(October 2007)

And again here-I look a little pregnant here too, don't I?

(I'm not)

(I'm carrying a camara, two pairs of gloves and a hat in that snowsuit "kangaroo pouch") December 2007

What about this one? Do I look pregnant in this one?

(Kind of hard to tell, huh?)

March 2008

'Cause I AM!!

If all goes as we are planning it to go (and it should, right?), we'll have a new little baby in our home around the 10th of October.

(This is not our baby. I just found this picture on the internet a minute ago)

Heaven help us! We alternate between being so excited that we can hardly stand it and so scared that we think we might lose our minds. That's normal, right? Pray for us to have a baby that is easy-going and knows a lot about raising him or herself.

I have a feeling it might take us a while to get the hang of it all.

(You might remember Eric's ill-fated attempt to kick his Diet Pepsi habit. He has definitely cut back, but as this picture shows, he does still indulge from time to time.)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Those Competitive Corrys

I come from a family that is NOTHING if not competitive.

Now, I know that you all know people who are overly competitive. They are the people that (to be honest), I tend to avoid whenever possible. I love to play volleyball, especially outdoor volleyball. But, I'm not very good at it, and experience has taught me that before joining just any old pick-up volleyball game, it's generally in my best interest to spend a few minutes observing the game, determining whether it's a "let's have fun" kind of game or "let's do whatever it takes to win" kind of game. I'll join in the former, but (to every one's relief) I avoid the latter like the plague.

But that's not the type of competitive that I'm talking about.

Every summer, at the Corry Reunion, there is a horseshoe tournament. You can read more about this tournament at my cousins' blog here. But, briefly, it's for the men (the women used to have one, but it died due to lack of interest). They are randomly put into partnerships, and they play in a single-elimination tournament over the course of two days. There is trash-talking, and good-natured jeering and teasing, and get this: The winners have their names engraved on a plaque which is kept and displayed at the reunion, year after year after year. It's been going on since the 1970's. Crazy.

But actually, that's not the type of competitive that I'm talking about either. I'm talking about competitions that are a little more random (and silly) in nature. For example:

I remember one Christmas afternoon when we all spent about three hours in my Uncle Steve's basement, watching my father and my other uncles play with a stopwatch. They would hold it, start it, look away, and see how close they could get it to stop on 20 seconds flat without looking. It sounds stupid, doesn't it? It was stupid. But, between the boasting and the bragging and the allegations of cheating and just the shenanigans in general that went on with it all, it was an absolute ball, and (honestly, as sad as this may sound) one of my favorite Christmas memories. (Incidentally, I have no idea what I or anyone else received for Christmas that year. I'm pretty sure the stopwatch was not a Christmas gift.)

I remember one summer afternoon when my parents, my siblings, their spouses, and I all sat in metal folding chairs on the back deck, playing "hackey sack" with a crushed aluminum can. The rules were, you couldn't get up from your chair, but if you could get your chair to move without your feet touching the ground or your derriere leaving the chair, you were all good. If the can touched the ground after you touched it, you were out. Again, stupid game, huh? But man, oh man, did we have a good time.

And that brings me to the latest crazy competition that my family (more specifically my brothers) has (have) come up with.

The Eggstravaganza

This post is already too long, and I'm getting tired of writing it (how's that for a cop-out?), but if you want to know details of this particular competition, you can go here. (skip the first 4-5 paragraphs, unless you're interested in the family trip to the sand dunes, or my brothers' imminent move to Indiana.)

Here's a teaser:

or two:

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